Nonpoint Source Watershed Restoration and Protection

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has grant funding available to assist organizations with watershed planning or implementation of activities as described in a department and EPA accepted 9-element watershed based plan (or alternative plan under certain specific conditions). The purpose of the funding is to support planning for and the implementation of on-the-ground practices that control, reduce or manage nonpoint source pollution as described in the Missouri Nonpoint Source Management Plan.

Request for Proposals

In early January each year, the department issues a Request for Proposals (RFP) soliciting applications for potential nonpoint source watershed planning or watershed based plan implementation subgrant projects. Eligible project sponsors include state agencies, local governments, regional planning/ governmental organizations, higher educational institutions and nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) status. Priorities and other selection criteria are listed in the RFP. Projects are selected on a competitive basis. Projects located in watersheds that have been prioritized for planning or implementation will be given preference in the selection process. Higher priority for selection is given to projects located in disadvantaged communities. Full application preparation and submission instructions are included in the RFP.

Project funding is contingent on annual federal funding of the state grant. Responses to an RFP must be submitted through the department’s online Funding Opportunities Portal. Interested parties should create a Portal account; when completing the Funding Opportunities Portal Access Request form, users should select Water Protection as the program of interest for financial assistance opportunities.

FY2023 Request for Proposals

Responses to the FY2023 RFP will be accepted until April 1, 2022. The current RFP is for watershed implementation projects only. Under this RFP, eligible projects may receive funding in the amount of $50,000 to $400,000 and have a duration of up to three years. Higher priority for selection will be given to projects located in disadvantaged communities or that are implemented in high visibility areas, that are community based or are implemented on public lands.

FY2023 Request for Proposals and watershed implementation grant application requirements:

FY2023 Request for Proposals Timeline

  • Jan. 3, 2022 - FY2023 RFP Announcement
  • April 1, 2022 - Notices of Intent Due
  • April 15, 2022 - Notice of Intent reviews completed and sponsoring agencies notified of outcome
  • May 2-6, 2022 - Applicant Training and Question/Answer Session – conference call
  • June 15, 2022 - Project applications due to the department
  • July 1, 2022 - Administrative completeness review of proposals completed
  • July 15, 2022 - Nonpoint Source Review Committee review of proposals completed and proposals selected for interviews
  • Aug. 2 - Sept. 1, 2022 - Interviews conducted
  • Sept. 15, 2022 - Proposals selected for further development for subawards; recommendations submitted for departmental approval
  • Oct. 3 - Nov. 30, 2022 - Proposed projects submitted to EPA for approval
  • May 1 - June 1, 2023 - Projects approved pending EPA award approval of Section 319(h) grant funds to the department; agreements developed for approved projects

Additional Information


To be considered, proposed projects must have:

  • Existing strong, diverse and committed partnerships to ensure project implementation as well as long-term operation and maintenance for installed best management practices. Partnerships must be demonstrated by established commitments or agreements among organizations, government entities, and watershed residents to implement the project in a timely fashion. Partnership agreements with local Soil and Water Conservation Districts, University Extension, Natural Resources Conservation Service, local and state governments or other organizations are strongly encouraged.
  • For implementation projects:
    • A cost effective approach to achieving measurable water quality benefits through the implementation of management practices; only high ratios of on-the-ground best management practice costs to administration or salary costs will be considered.
    • A water quality monitoring or modeling component, whether performed by the recipient, a contractor, the department, or another partnering agency. The monitoring or modeling component, new or existing, must be capable of documenting significant water quality improvement or decline. Other measures or indicators that may be used to show progress toward water quality improvements must be approved by the department.
    • The ability to track and report the load reduction that results from the project using simple best management practice estimates or watershed models.
  • Clear measurable milestones and an implementation schedule that clearly demonstrates interim steps, timely implementation of the project, and fund usage.
  • A limited, low cost information and outreach component that does not exceed 10% of the subgrant.
  • A complete, well developed budget that links costs to specific activities or milestones. All administrative costs and salaries should comprise no more than 10% of the federal subgrant.
  • Staff with the capability, expertise, resources, and experience to perform the proposed work and grant administration. Must have written organizational policies and procedures in place prior to applying.
  • For former federal subgrant recipients: A documented history of meeting grant requirements and successfully fulfilling subgrant agreements, including: fiscal accountability, achieving project milestones, best management practice implementation and projected pollutant load reductions.

Activities not eligible for Section 319 project funding include:

  • Research
  • NPDES permit obligations
  • Land purchase

Grant Info and Match Requirements

Grant Fund Source and Subgrant Use

Funding for this federal grant is authorized by Section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act and is intended to help restore and protect waters that have been impaired or threatened by nonpoint source pollution. The funding is provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as subgrants through the Department of Natural Resources. Section 319 subgrants may be used to develop or update a 9-element watershed based plan or to implement practices as detailed in an existing department and EPA accepted watershed based plan (or alternative plan under certain specific conditions).

Grant Amount and Match Requirement

Variable award amounts are based on the number of applicants and the amount of funding available, and will depend on the ability of the recipient to mobilize, remain on schedule, and achieve the project milestones. Project periods of up to three years are considered. The scope of work and budgeted costs will be refined prior to final approval of a project. The project sponsor is required to provide match to the federal grant amount in a 60/40 (federal/non-federal) match ratio; match can be in the form of non-federal funding or in-kind contributions. Applicants will be required to maintain a 60/40 federal to non-federal contribution ratio on a semiannual basis through the duration of the project and should develop the project budget accordingly.

Funding is based upon performance. Funding restrictions will occur if projects fall behind on meeting their scheduled milestone deadlines.

By applying for this award, the applicant verifies that it, its board of directors, and all principals are currently in compliance with all state and federal environmental laws and court orders issued pursuant to those laws, and that all environmental violations have been resolved at the time of this application.

Additional resources for Watershed Planning and Improvement
319 Project Examples